Routines and School Readiness

December 2017

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Brushing teeth before bed; a nightly story to unwind. Maybe it’s a family walk right after dinner. Routines are often a touchstone in a child’s day. Now, experts in human development say that such routines may be a critical part of getting kids ready for kindergarten.

For Davis Patterson, helping dad Omari in the kitchen is a daily afternoon ritual. He’s learning first-hand about meal preparation and nutrition, and he’s engaging in behavior that may have also prepared him for school. Kristen Bub, EDD, a developmental psychologist at the University of Illinois, and her colleague at Auburn University found that regular family routines started as early as 14 months predicted a child’s readiness for kindergarten.

“Routines are really critical for children’s ability to sort of regulate those emotions and to interact in a socially appropriate way,” explained Bub. Bub and her colleagues studied data from over 3,000 children and found that those with more routines were less likely to exhibit bad behavior and hyperactivity. More routines also predicted better academic skills.

“More able to concentrate, better attention, better math and reading—you know, math and reading for little kids—so better able to count,” Bub told Ivanhoe.

Bub works with parents to help create family routines. Using activity or chore charts, she coaches parents to select a few important tasks.

“Put it on the chart of things to do each day and the child moves it to the done side when they do it,” said Bub.

The Patterson family uses their own system of “Davis dollars” to reward good behavior or completion of chores.

Davis’ mom, Ashley Patterson, detailed: “I just really wanted to not have any more crying breakdowns. That was my motivation, but it had all these unintended positive consequences.”

Bub said parents can begin establishing routines with children early. She says something as simple as working with a child on brushing their teeth will start them on the path toward regular routines.


Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Spanish Translation

Una Buena Rutina Ayuda Al Exito Escolar

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Cepillarse los dientes, el cuento antes de dormir, quizas un paseo después de cenar. Una rutina familiar es algo reconfortante para los mas pequeños. Pero según los expertos, esos habitos pueden jugar un papel critico en preparar a los niños para entrar en pre escolar.

Para Davis Patterson, ayudar a papa en la cocina es un ritual diario. Pero no solo esta aprendiendo sobre nutricion y a preparar una comida, pero esta adquiriendo habitos que le preparan para entrar al colegio. Kristen Bub, de la Universidad de Illinois, y sus colegas en la Universidad de Auburn determinaron que una rutina familiar que  se inicia tan pronto como a los 14 meses de edad, puede predecir la preparacion de un niño para entrar en pre escolar.

Bub y sus colegas analizaron informacion sobre mas de tres mil niños y determinaron que aquellos que seguian una rutina diaria tendían a presentar menos híper actividad y mal comportamiento. Asimismo, una mayor rutina tambien se traducia en mejores aptitudes para el estudio. Bub ayuda a los padres a crear rutinas familiares, haciendo uso de  graficas de las actividades y tareas, concentrándose  en las más importantes. La familia Patterson emplea los “dolares de Davis” para recompensar las tareas realizadas o el buen comportamiento.

Bub asegura que los padres pueden empezar a crear rutinas a edad temprana con algo tan simple como el cepillado de los dientes.

Los contribuyentes a este reportaje incluyen: Cyndy McGrath, Supervisora y Productora de Campo; Milvionne Chery, Productora Assistente; Roque Correa, Editor Y Camarografo.

Producido por Child Trends News Service en asocio con Ivanhoe Broadcast News y auspiciado por una beca de la National Science Foundation.